Sky and Peacock, the streaming service owned by Sky’s US parent company Comcast, have commissioned a “bold, contemporary reimagining” of Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal.
The widely acclaimed novel followed the hunt for a professional killer known only as the “Jackal” hired to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle.
First published in 1971, its has remained a constant bestseller and in 1973 was adapted into an award-winning film starring Edward Fox. A 1997 contemporary adaptation, which had little to do with the novel’s plot, became a box office success despite being widely panned by critics.
Sky describes its new series as “a bold, contemporary reimagining of the beloved and respected novel and film,” adding that it will be “remaining true to the DNA of the original IP” while delving “deeper into the chameleon like ‘anti-hero’ at the heart of the story”.
Viewers are promises “a high octane, cinematic, globetrotting ‘cat and mouse’ thriller, set amidst the turbulent geo-political landscape of our time.”
The series will be produced by Carnival Films, which is part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Sky Studios. Irish screenwriter Ronan Bennett is attached to write and showrun. The award-winning Brian Kirk will be lead director.
Gareth Neame, Executive Producer, Carnival Films said: “It is an exciting prospect to work with Ronan Bennett and Brian Kirk on this contemporary cat-and-mouse thriller inspired by Frederick Forsyth’s respected novel and the much admired and remembered Fred Zinnemann movie.
“We’ll retain the pan-European setting and play to the strengths of episodic television in this fast paced, intelligent international thriller with the story of an assassin and the race to stop him still at the heart of the action.”
Lisa Katz, President Scripted Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming said: “We’re excited to adapt this internationally recognized classic into an updated, timely, political thriller. Shepherded by novelist and showrunner Ronan Bennett and Carnival, this action-packed high-stakes drama is sure to be an edge-of-your seat adventure for Peacock audiences.”
Meghan Lyvers, Director of Original Drama, Sky Studios UK&I said: “The Day of the Jackal is a timeless international espionage thriller that is beloved the world over. Ronan’s propulsive storytelling will keep viewers on the edge of their seats, and we cannot wait to bring this premium, cinematic, globe-trotting series to Sky audiences across Europe.”
The series will be available on Peacock in the US and on Sky in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.